House goes after FCC ruling

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WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of lawmakers has filed a measure aimed at nullifying the controversial FCC rule that would end the 32-year-old ban on radio and television broadcasters owning newspapers in the nation's largest media markets.

The House version of the "legislative veto" unveiled by five congressmen on Thursday is a companion to a similar "resolution of disapproval" introduced in the Senate this month.

"Consolidation already has brought us to the point where two companies control 70% of market revenue in an average radio market," said U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., the resolution's prime sponsor and a member of the House Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC. "We need to use every tool available to prevent further weakening of media ownership rules."

In December, the FCC approved a new cross-ownership rule that would end the ban on the common ownership of a daily newspaper and a television or radio station in the same market for the nation's top 20 markets. It also would make it easier for the FCC to waive ownership rules in all markets.
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